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If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and .. 
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#1
Jan513, 10:48 AM

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If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and not the ground, does it mean we can build a time machine if only the air moves near the speed of light?



#2
Jan513, 11:00 AM

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Sorry but I can't make heads or tails of this! First there is no clear evidence that "moving near the speed of light" will help you build a time machine! There are some ways of interepreting relativity that lead to the idea that going faster than the speed of light has an effect on time but it is not clear whether that interpretation is true and, in any case, there is no way of going faster than the speed of light. And, finally, why talk about "air moving near the speed of light" when there is no better way of getting air to move "near the speed of light" (relative to what, by the way?) than the airplane itself.



#3
Jan513, 11:34 AM

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The answer is no. This is because the speed of the air and the plane do not add up that way (no velocities do). The formula you would have to use is [tex]\frac{u+v}{1+\frac{uv}{c^2}}[/tex] Here u is the speed of the air and u the speed of the plane with respect to it. c is the speed of light (in a vacuum). If you play around with this, you will quickly see that no matter how large u an v are (as long as they are less than c) the answer comes out to being less than c. However, if u and v are very small compared to c, like they are in everyday experience, the answer comes out to being very nearly the same as u+v. This is why we would say that the speed of the plane with respect to the ground is equal to the velocity of the air plus the airspeed of the plane. At normal speeds, using the simpler equation gives you an answer so close to the real answer that the difference is much much smaller than the uncertainty of the speeds that we start with. In addition, the simple equation is more intuitive to work with. 


#4
Jan513, 12:20 PM

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If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and ..



#5
Jan513, 12:25 PM

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#6
Jan513, 12:38 PM

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You might want to google the HafeleKeating experiment to see what can be done by moving clocks around in airplanes. 


#7
Jan513, 12:47 PM

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#8
Jan513, 03:36 PM

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cdux, yes you're right it would indeed be a "time machine". In fact, every time there is relative motion you have a "time machine". Even if I wave my arms around they end up travelling in time relative to my body. As you mentioned, this only works going into the future.
Everybody else seems to have assumed you were talking about a classical time machine which allows for going into the past...and your post did seem to lead towards that direction. So yes, it would be a time machine. HOWEVER, contrary to the implication of your post, adding the stipulation "if only the air moves near the speed of light?" doesn't make it any simpler or easier to accomplish any appreciable time travel. 


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Jan513, 03:58 PM

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#10
Jan513, 04:18 PM

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#12
Jan513, 05:44 PM

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You may have the sense of the dilation backwards as well? 


#13
Jan613, 04:27 AM

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#14
Jan613, 07:24 AM

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